Bugs can and frequently do grow in spices. A handful of common bugs feed off of and breed in many of the spices and other dried goods that people store in pantries, cupboards and cabinets. The University of Connecticut notes that of common spices, red pepper, cayenne and paprika are particularly susceptible to infestation.
The University of Nebraska reports that the most common bugs found in spice cabinets are Indian meal moths; dermestid beetles; sawtoothed grain beetles; cigarette and drugstore beetles; flour beetles; granary, rice and maize weevils; bean weevils and spider beetles. The University of Nebraska terms these bugs as "pantry pests."
How It Starts
Most people first notice an infestation when they see little brown or black bugs around the area where they store grains and spices, or inside spice containers. The University of Connecticut states that most infestations start when a consumer brings home infected food. The bugs then infest other spices or grains, as most pantry pests enjoy a variety of food sources.
Once inside a pantry, bugs can spread from one open container to another and some can chew through cardboard or paper to infest sealed foods. The University of Connecticut reports that most pantry pests originate in tropical or subtropical areas and do not hibernate; they simply reproduce frequently in warm areas with lots of food -- such as the spice cupboard of a warm house.
The University of Nebraska recommends storing spices and grains in airtight containers made from glass, ceramic or something else that bugs cannot chew through; if one item becomes infested, secure storage prevents the bugs from spreading. Furthermore, the University of Nebraska cautions against buying food in damaged packaging and recommends thoroughly cleaning your pantry and kitchen with soap and hot water once an infestation is discovered. Freezing, heating or throwing away contaminated foods gets rid of the bugs.
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How to Repel Bugs and Animals with Cayenne Pepper
Ground cayenne pepper is used in food and is an herbal remedy for everything from sore throat to joint pain. Cajuns cook...
How to Kill Spice Bugs
Have you ever reached for a spice jar and found small bugs inside? If so, you're not alone. A variety of bugs...
Types of Tiny Black Bugs Found in the Bed
Insects are one of the last things you want to encounter in your bed, but microscopic creatures are nevertheless present in mattresses...
Little Brown Bugs in the Bed
A surge in international travel in the early years of the 21st century has caused a resurgence of the bed bug. These...
Herbs or Spices That Repel Insects
Herbs and spices add flavor and variety in cooking, but many insects don't appreciate their strong scents and tastes. Growing herbs or...